Live below your means.





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This pretty much sums it up. If you live like your broke you can and will become rich. If you make material acquisition /wealth your aim your life will only be funded by debt. If you stop spending now you will be able to have whatever you want later.

Flying by the seat of our pants .

harley1





I was siting here trying to make sense of my feelings this morning and convey them to you when it hit me!

I just spent the week flying by the seat of my pants!

It has had a profound affect on both myself and my wife. We took off a week ago last Friday and rode our Harley Davidson fat boy half way across Washington state then headed north up into Canada. We had only one thing on our agenda be in Prince George some 600 miles north for a friends 50Th surprise birthday on Sunday.

The funny thing was we have never been up this way and our iPhones that we depend on so much were no good up their as we have US coverage and it’s very expensive to use up there. So no Internet and Mapquest or calling. We could send and receive text only. We bought a map book and navigated the old fashioned way!

The real lesson came as we rode about an hour at a time from town to town getting gas and stretching our legs about 300 miles a day pulling in to find a room some where and living out of the small bags that fit on the bike. This came to be the most freeing experience we have had.

Here’s what I took. One pair of shorts, three shirts, 3 underwear, 3 socks, one pair of blue jeans, riding boots, flip flops, hat, sun glasses, sweat shirt, leather jacket, chaps and 2 pair of gloves.  My wife took the same (a first) and a small bag of toiletries.

For living we took two compact sleeping bags the size of a loaf of bread and a cook set back pack stove and pan. One stainless steel nalgene bottle of water. That’s it.

We got to Prince George on sat about 5 and spent the next night at our friends mothers house. Then out to the lake after the party to stay water front with new friends in a camper van. Tuesday back to town for a nite at the birthday girls house. We had a bonus soak in the hot tub;)

The whole time we never really knew where we were staying or how long but all our new friends just kept adopting us putting us up and feeding us until we were about to burst! We did laundry at there homes as we went. Wednesday found us heading east after lots of goodbyes to all our new friends.

Where to? Jasper and Banff Provincial Parks!

We rode all day and saw signs for moose, elk,deer and bear but no animals to dodge thank goodness. We got in late to the town of Jasper just north of the park a beautiful town in a breathtaking mountain setting. It was high season there and all the hotels were full or a few rooms left at $250.00 to $300.00 ea!! We called about 8 places and finally got referred to a private home that rents rooms only $95.00 a nite quiet and unique.

After breakfast Thursday it was off to the parks.

Jasper and Banff what can I say you have to experience them your self they are truly amazing. Wild country, wild animals and unbelievable vistas. You could spend the summer there and only see a fraction of the area. Sadly we only spent 24 hours on our way home. We pulled out our map and found an exit near lake Louise (stunning) and rode toward Radium Hot Springs for the night. We found some motels near the hot springs at only $85 a nite but we got a $10 discount as bikers $75 that night! After riding in and out of rain showers all day we were tired and cold but still in awe of the scenery we just took in. Bears and all! Right on the road side! We stopped 20 feet away to watch them eating berrys.

Friday morning woke up to pouring rain not what we wanted to start the ride home in. We had coffee got packed and waited an hour before it let up so we took off for Cranbrook 15 min down the rode. It rain for 20 min!

We finally out ran it and stopped For breakfast and more hot coffee to warm us back up. We drove on to Creston stopped for gas and rest our butts then over the pass 6000 ft. Cold clear and amazing views down to the turn south and 10 min later were at the border crossing. Back in familiar territory about an hour from home.

That was yesterday and I find myself wanting to take off again for points unknown it was simple easy and minimal we had every thing we needed on that bike to keep going.

So why do we have so much stuff back home!?

A room some clothes and a motorcycle was plenty all week! No extra stuff and we didn’t miss a thing. Sell the house sell the cars and all the stuff and we can take off for good! Not one or two weeks but a year maybe.

We were alive out there in the open hot, cold, wet, and heat. Smelling the fresh air in the mountains. Stopping when and where we wanted not a care in the world. I believe it is all about the experiences in life not the stuff.

How about you?



You’re free to retire anytime just let go of the banana.

Retire ! Now! What! So what’s the deal ? I am talking about the BANANA! The one we all are holding.Here is the parable of the banana .In Africa some villagers found a way to catch monkeys .They put a banana into a small hole in a tree .The monkeys come along and reach into the hole to grab the banana but when they try to pull it out the  hole is too small to pull the banana out if they hold onto it.The monkeys are so determined to get it out they wont let go.They franticly try to pull the banana out of the hole and get so worked up that the villagers can walk up behind them and grab them .If they would have just let go they would be free!

So what does this have to do with Me you ask? I’m glad you asked 😉      We as a culture are so caught up in holding on to what we have and what we want that we trade our freedom out time and our future for these things. WE are so busy trying to achieve a level of material and financial success so we can “RETIRE” that we miss the point the target the essence of retirement and often never get anywhere near the goal . All to often in the mad rush to make it big we miss out on life period .We work our asses off to build a life and it crumbles like a house of cards in the end.There is no do over .There is no second chance.This is not a dress rehearsal people!

We all need to live on less A LOT LESS  than we do now . Quite frankly it is pathetic how much the average person saves/spends as if it will never stop.As we have learned the last few years the collective house of cards has come tumbling down on the consumer especially the ones with massive debt.To many people have been caught with their perverbal pants down in the economical down turn of over indebtedness .(IS that even a word?) Well it is now.

If you are debt free(and congratulations if you are) this has not really been a crisis.It may have been a pinch but not  a crisis.People who are savers and consumers as a general rule have been largely unaffected by this current state of affairs because they already live a life style that is frugal and minimal .These people drive older cars that are paid for and or ride the bus. They ride bicycle and walk to work and the store.They are living well below there means you don’t notice them because they don’t stick out nothing flashy about them because that is not what is important to them.Average does not even describe them .This person is more interested in living life their way than trying to “keep up with the Joneses” .

If this describes you I am impressed because it isn’t easy going against the norm. but the trade off is awesome a life on your terms you can work at what you find fulfilling and take large blocks of time off with little or no effect on your finances .you are free to pursue your interest like travel and sports such as kayaking ,camping, hiking . Your needs are few.You want for nothing! material things are not your passion.Big houses and there payments as well as fancy cars are not your thing.You have no debt.You have let go of the banana or better yet never grabbed it to begin with! You inspire me I have let go of the banana !! I can’t wait to see what will happen next .It doesn’t take that much to live when your needs are few .

You can retire from consumerism anytime you want to and take back your time your freedom and live your passion .Do it now before it is to late.All we need is food clothing and shelter.The more you know the less you need.Let go of the banana…

Needs versus wants equals freedom versus a life of debt.

It seems in this day and age and in our culture we have a difficult time distinguishing between needs and wants.I hear people saying” I’m broke” or” I can’t make it from payday to payday”.I hear “I need a raise” On friday’s people are running to the bank to deposit their checks so they can by grocerys and get gas.It disturbs me that upon closer investigation these same people are paying $80-$100 or more for satellite T.V. $80-$100 or more for a smart phone plan $50 -$80 for internet and have a subscription for a movie plan.$10 dollars a month.The same people regularly go out to eat$10 t0 $20 buy coffee drinks$3 or $4 and cocktails at a club on the weekends$4 or $5 .Some smoke $5 a pack.

Now the problem is that the thinking is I need all this. It is the bare minimum to live life!   People that are on public assistants are paying for these things let alone the working people.It isnt just those WANTS that they are paying for it’s the car payment and the credit cards and the high rent or house payment too.We are out of balance .We think we NEED  all this when really we WANT it .Did you know that at the turn of the century the wealthiest people in the world (I’m talking about multimillionaires when a million dollars was a lot of money) did not have any of this! Today poor people quote unquote have more luxury than that.People at or below the poverty line enjoy a higher standard of living that the wealthy did then .They have running water flush toilets ,cell phones,heat and air conditioning,cars,electricity higher life spans (double) access to health care and more.

What we really have here is a money management problem and a perspective that we need all the luxury and really we just want it.

But the bigger issue is we trade our biggest most precious and valuable possession for all of these things with reckless abandon.Our TIME.We have a finite amount of TIME on this planet and we waste a tremendous amount of it in the pursuit of wants disguised as needs.We even trade our second most precious possession our HEALTH .It gets damaged by our lifestyle and eating habits that we create in the pursuit of  needs that are only wants. we work too much and sit too much then we eat too much and trade our health as a result of it .

So what is the solution to all this sobering and depressing conversation anyway.  Well for starters a good hard look at wants vs needs and getting present to what they are costing you in terms of your real quality of life.Become present and mindful of daily life and what really makes you happy .Get out of and stay out of debt! cook from scratch .It is healthier and less expensive than packaged and processed food. take a walk it is good excercise that costs nothing and gives you time to think about whats important.less cost of living means less need to work and more time to spend as you wish.Cut your cost housing ,transportation the two biggest and really look at wants and get that that is just what they are .The only things you really need are food clothing and shelter every thing else is luxury and vanity.At what cost are they really acquired ?

The backup plan .What if plan A isn’t panning out?

So you finished school and went out into the world to work your butt off and create health ,wealth and happiness for yourself. The american dream …get a job start a career and a family.Buy a house and a car or two and start putting money away for the future.Well fast forward a couple of decades and maybe things aren’t where you thought they would be.Maybe it just isn’t looking like you saw it in your head.

Here is where we are today people are trying to retire and worked the last 30 plus years to put away enough to enjoy the( golden years ) They keep telling you about.Now this could be for a lot of reasons layoffs ,cutbacks,divorce,health issues or an accident.Maybe your investments went bust or your house values crashed. Sound  familiar?

So what are you going to do ? maybe you see the writing on the wall down the line a few years for your self and you are looking to course correct now . Sorry if I come off all doom and gloomy but there is an alternative.

Plan B the back up plan .The what if the SHTF ( shit hits the fan) sorry if that offends anyone it is a broad and encompassing phrase that covers a multitude of scenarios from the minor lost my job to the end of the world and every thing in between.So what if? Well you need a fallback plan something that you can count on come what may.

What is that ? What does that look like ? How does that work? I’m glad you asked.;) It looks like a way to live without needing a bunch of money and infrastructure and still keep a standard of living you can be happy with no matter what happens .Some thing you can put in place now so you have the peace of mind that your covered for the future.

What does that take ?well I see the big costs of living today Housing is number one.How much money do you need to live if housing is no longer an issue? the second seems to be transportation gas prices are not going down that is for sure.Then food and healthcare.

Well lets solve the big one housing .Having a micro house built and setting in the back yard is a major piece of insurance in my opinion .It’s the fall back the escape pod the backup plan for the SHTF possibility of the unknown future .What if the power fails or there’s an earthquake or hurricane a blizzard and so on and basic services are interrupted wouldn’t it be nice to go over and get inside your micro house and fire up the heat and lights and be able to cook a meal and not just survive but thrive .

Lets talk about location.Micro houses can be placed in locations that would otherwise be prohibitive to live in either by price or the inability to build in an environment .So you can put it in a backyard or beach front on a lake river ocean pond ect… but the view or amenities are to die for.Who can afford a (million dollar view ) but you can barrow it for little or nothing ;).

You could live in walking distance or biking distance of all your shopping and business needs minimising or eliminating the need for a car.if you park your micro house in an area that has space for a garden then you can produce some of your own food cutting expenses further.

Lastly your health is very important and I want to touch on or bring full circle the backup plan living more simply and deliberately gives you time.Time to prepare your own food from scratch .Time to walk or bike to where you want to go .Time to be outside in the garden working in the fresh air and sunshine.Time to spend with family and a great place to live for a fraction of the cost of traditional lifestyle we have now .All we have is time health and family all we need is food shelter and clothing .If we have these we have more than the majority of the people on the planet . After that everything else is excess and luxury.    This lifestyle by design If you choose it